Michelle Hauser of South Thomaston is exhibiting a selection of photographs from the project Meeting Hall Maine, which documents hundreds of meeting halls found throughout the state, at the Maine Jewish Museum in Portland through May 7.

Volunteer societies such as the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Free Masons and the Patrons of Husbandry, which built the historic halls depicted in Hauser’s photos, are active in Maine today, though in waning numbers. In a news release, she said, “Meeting Hall Maine aims to instill an appreciation and desire in others to preserve these vernacular structures as democratic forums for generations to come.

“This historic network of halls ... have shared goals to create nonpartisan and secular environments to foster solidarity among citizens across lines of class. Playing a vital role in communities across the state, these organizations represent the collective power of local people banding together into groups to achieve shared interests.”

In 1981, Hauser forged ties to Maine at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, leading her to return to Maine to live and paint in a former Odd Fellows Hall in Mount Vernon. The hall served as an inspiration for the photos in Meeting Hall Maine.

For more information, visit mainejewishmuseum.org.